Response times remain steady for Country Fire Authority’s District 16 brigades

File photo.
File photo.

RESPONSE times for Country Fire Authority’s District 16 brigades have remained steady since the last quarter, new data shows.

The new data was collected from the quarter starting on January 1 and ending on March 31.

During this time period, the Stawell Fire Brigade attended a total of 34 incidents across all hazard classes.

The average time in which 90 per cent of emergency incidents were responded to by the brigade in their own area was 9.17 minutes.

The percentage of times that the standard response time of eight minutes was met was 71 per cent.

These statistics are almost exactly the same as last quarter’s data, when the average response time for 90 per cent of incidents was 9.10 minutes. 

The Wimmera Mail-Times requested CFA media for response times for Horsham Fire Brigade and District 17, but no data was made available.

A CFA media spokesman said data was only provided for CFA districts and brigades that were called out to 10 or more incidents during a quarter.

“CFA is releasing response time data as an accountability measure, which will help us and the community identify areas for improvement,” he said.

“CFA has been releasing response time data for the last three quarters, and plans to continue this into the future for brigades with statistically significant numbers of emergency events.

“None of the five brigades in the Horsham Group currently attend enough incidents to meet that threshold for reliable data.”

Across the state, the Customer Service Delivery Standard compliance rate – which measures of the first firefighting vehicle arriving on scene – was at 88 per cent. 

There was also a great variance in response times depending on the area in the state. Percentages of brigades meeting the standard response time of eight minutes was ranged between 31 and 100 per cent.

Emergency Services Minister James Merlino said there was room for improvement.

“This is the fourth set of data released and it is showing areas where the fire services are simply not keeping up with the growth our state is experiencing –  this isn’t good enough,” he said.

“Our fire services are still organised in a way that worked in the 1950s but doesn't work today.

“If we’re serious about community safety then we must make changes and bring our fire services into the 21st century.”​

CFA chief officer Steve Warrington said the data would help identify areas for improvement.

“The data shows that CFA is a high performing organisation that Victorians can trust,” he said.

“This data allows us to evaluate and analyse how resources are allocated, identify growth and look at where brigades may need additional assistance.

“The importance of holistic fire management is crucial and this data demonstrates CFA’s continued development of this approach, through educating communities on fire prevention and preparedness, not just providing an emergency response.”